Talking Famous New York City Spots w/ R.B Umali | “This was in the pre-cell phone era – if you were balling you had a pager,… “
New York City has its share of classic spots. Typically not because they are perfect, but because they have that big city vibe and the history to back them up. Often times they are not much more than gathering places for the local skate scene that turn into a spot out of necessity. The video don of New York himself – R.B Umali – has seen and captured much of the action over years and the historic tales he has are fascinating.
The first time I went to Astor Place, we left Supreme once they closed shop at 7pm. We skated uptown to this random intersection with nothing to skate but tipped over garbage cans and pretty rough flat ground. There were so many skaters there just gathered around this metal sculpture of a cube at this one intersection. I was like ‘Why is everyone skating here? There’s nothing here and the ground isn’t even that good.’ For some reason we would just hang out there. I learned how to slappy grind on the metal curbs there, and I’m pretty sure I learned how to play cee-lo there, rolling the dice off that same metal curb. We would just drink forties, smoke blunts, and look at girls. This was in the pre-cell phone era – if you were balling you had a pager, but no one had a cell phone. We kind of needed that place as a central meet up spot after the skate shop was closed.